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(the fall of) The Master Builder: A contemporary reimagining of Ibsen’s classic drama

Halvard Solness is at the pinnacle of his career. His success is unquestionable, his status undeniable and his newest accolade, the Master Builder Award, is truly admirable. He’s on the precipice of unparalleled greatness when an unexpected visit stirs up memories of the past, which threaten to undermine all he has built.

Directed by Artistic Director James Brining (Ode to Leeds, Enjoy, The Crucible, West Yorkshire Playhouse), (the fall of) The Master Builder is written by award-winning playwright, screen writer and director Zinnie Harris, who celebrated success this year with three productions at Edinburgh International Festival.

Starring accomplished actor, director and Playhouse Associate Artist Reece Dinsdale (Richard III, Alan Bennett’s Untold Stories, West Yorkshire Playhouse) in the title role, the cast includes Susan Cookson (Romeo and Juliet, West Yorkshire Playhouse), David Hounslow (This House, National Theatre), Emma Naomi (Dead Don’t Floss, National Theatre), Michael Peavoy (Sweeney Todd, West Yorkshire Playhouse & Manchester Royal Exchange), Robert Pickavance (The Twits, Curve) and Katherine Rose Morely (Last Tango in Halifax, BBC One).

West Yorkshire Playhouse Artistic Director James Brining said: “Zinnie Harris’ adaptation is a mesmeric and gripping exploration of power. This retelling of such a classic text feels timely, a contemporary story addressing gender, control and privilege. Zinnie breathes agency into Ibsen’s female characters, generating terrific energy, tension and jeopardy.”

Playwright Zinnie Harris said: “I’m delighted to be working with West Yorkshire Playhouse and James Brining to bring this new adaptation of Ibsen’s masterpiece to the stage. Reimagining Ibsen’s text has been fascinating and reframing the production for now has given the piece real urgent relevance. It’s been a pleasure to create this new and contemporary version that makes for a thrilling adaptation.”

West Yorkshire Playhouse Associate Artist Reece Dinsdale said: “I’m thrilled to be working on such an exciting project, (the fall of) The Master Builder being the follow-up role to Richard III, after my appointment as Associate Artist at the Playhouse. It’s an absolute pleasure to be back in this building and working with James Brining. Halvard Solness is a fascinating character to play – a man standing right at the precipice and staring down into the abyss. Someone at the very height of his success being forced to confront his deepest fears. His dread of the ambitious young, the steady decline of his creative powers, and the murky secrets of his past come right to the fore in the very moment we meet him.”

(the fall of) The Master Builder is designed by acclaimed set and costume designer Alex Lowde (Pygmalion, West Yorkshire Playhouse & Headlong, Enjoy, West Yorkshire Playhouse), with lighting by international lighting designer Sinéad McKenna and sound by award-winning sound designer and composer Jon Nicholls.

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